Lisa Brandl, the county’s chief operating officer, steps down [Opinion]

The highest-ranking woman to serve in Riverside County government has announced she will retire. Lisa Brandl is the county’s chief operating officer and second in command of the county and its 20,000 workers. The Board of Supervisors honor her career at the board meeting today, Tuesday, Feb.9.

Brandl began her career as an office assistant in County Communications as a teenager. She earned a reputation as a person who could quietly get things done.

She returned to college while working for the county and earned both a bachelor’s and master’s degree. This was well before former County Executive Officer Jay E. Orr would develop a tuition assistance program for management.

As Brandl rose up the ranks she made an effort to learn many of the county operations. She worked in the Auditors Office, Parks and Open Space District, Facilities Maintenance, Executive Office, Fleet Services & Purchasing, and Economic Development Agency. She figured out ways to save taxpayers money, increase revenues for the general fund, and help guide the county’s $6 billion dollar budget through trying times. She remained front and center during the pandemic and helped George Johnson marshal resources to respond to this epic crisis.

Former County Executive Officer George A. Johnson named Brandl the county’s first Chief  Operating Officer. In this role she would serve as second in command of the county and stood in for the County Executive Officer in his absence.

Brandl, a Latina, was also the highest-ranking Hispanic serving in Riverside County government. She often had the responsibility of doing the heavy lifting for her bosses. This meant the unfortunate task of ending the employment of managers who didn’t get the job done.

She was a leader that mentored many, encouraged self improvement and giving back to the community. She did not seek the limelight. Instead, she chose to lead quietly and with loyalty to her superiors and her subordinates.

Having served as a member of her staff I can attest to her dedication to duty, her leadership abilities, and loyalty to the county she served for three decades. She treated her team members the way she wanted to be treated. She was firm but always fair.

Brandl has much to give. She leaves with a great deal of knowledge and experience in major government operations. Few individuals will ever achieve in their professional careers what this woman has.

Whatever  Lisa Brandl does. or wherever she goes after her outstanding and selfless career with Riverside County, she’ll be a success.


Image Sources

  • Lisa Brandl: Twitter